December 11, 2017

Good Works

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For we are God’s workmanship
created in Christ Jesus to do good works
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2: 10

I am reminded of Jeremiah 1:5…

Before I formed you I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart.

This just shows us how we were created.  In Genesis 1:26-28 God said, “Let us make man in Our image and Our likeness…”  You will notice God was giving power to man to have dominion over things and what distracted is the sinful nature of man.  However God’s compassionate love gave us Christ Jesus in Whom we are born again.  Now that we are born again, what is required of us?

1. Go back to the drawing board and see the purpose of God over our lives

2. Appreciate God for giving us the second chance

3. Fulfil the call that we have without murmuring or blabbing

The anchor Scripture for this week says we were ‘created to do good works.’  What then are the good works, those that God prepared for us to do in advance?

  • Matthew 5:16
    In the same way let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
  • 1 Timothy 6:18
    Command them to do good to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share.
  • Titus 2:7
    In everything set them an example by doing what is good.  In your teaching show integrity seriousness.
  • Hebrews 10:24
    And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.
  • James 2:17
    Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by good deeds, is dead.
  • James 2:18
    But someone will say you have faith I have deeds show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith but I do.

Brethren, as we are doing good works it is not unto man but it is unto God (according to the Scriptures).  Let us take up this noble call with our whole hearts and pursue the calling.

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Dear Lord, we thank You for You knew us for all times.  We thank You for You predestined us and You knew our roles on earth for each one of us.  May we come to a full understanding of the good works that we are to do.  Use us to the maximum and all to the glory of your Holy Name.  Open our eyes of understanding to see the best inside us and how we should take action.  On our own we can hardly manage; we need the Holy Spirit—Christ in us—for this to be undertaken.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This Little Light Of Mine

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In the same way, let your light shine before men,
so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 HCSB
There’s a little flame inside us all
Some shine bright, some shine small
The rains will come and the waters rise
But don’t you ever lose your light
In this life you will know
Love and pain, joy and sorrow
So when it hurts, when times get hard
Don’t forget whose child you areThis little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine, gonna let it shineMay you live each day with no regret
Make the most of every chance you get
Let your eyes get wide when you look at the stars
With the same sense of wonder as a child’s heart
With the ones you love treasure the time
And for those who are gone keep their memories alive
Hold on to your dreams don’t ever let go
There’s a fire inside you burning with hopeThere will be days when you want to give up
When the clouds settle in
But after the rain comes the sun
Don’t you ever forget

One day there will be no more pain
And we will finally see Jesus’ face
So until then I’m gonna to try
To brave the dark and let my little light shine

There’s a little light inside us all

 

This Little Light Of Mine
Addison Road

This Week…Let Your Light Shine (Matthew 5:16)

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In the same way, let your light shine before men,
so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 HCSB

Oh, I have so enjoyed reading the devotionals this week here on the Seeking Him blog!  Our theme verse is such a glorious one.  And Ahmee, Ann, Cynda, and Laura have shed light on it (no pun intended!) in ways that really encouraged me; how about you?

Here’s my thoughts:

– we simply have to ‘let’ our light shine (it has already been given to us)
– as our light shines it will help others to ‘see’ our good works
– and (best of all!) they will then give glory to the One Who deserves it

Now listen to a few thoughts that our sisters have shared….

In Being The Light, Laura gave the analogy of a flashlight.  She wrote: “We need to be a flashlight now more than ever.  By accepting Christ, we can bring light to an ever-darkening world.  There are many ways that we can bring light to the world.  We can serve in local and foreign ministries.  We can serve our church by volunteering our time.  We can help our neighbors when they need it.  We can watch out for one another.  By being a light for God, we can show others that God loves them too.”

Cynda asked us two questions about light in Let Your Light Shine

1) What is the Source? … and … 2) What does it DO?

“Jesus told us He is the Source of our light:

Then Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I am the light of the world.
Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.’
John 8:12(HCSB)

While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.
John 9:5 (NASB)

Jesus is the only Source of our light.

So what does light do?  It expels the darkness.  It illuminates…and that’s what we are called to do.  Others must see the Light of Christ in us before we can share His Light with them.”

In Good Works, Ann focused on the benefit of light shining so that others can see our good works and then praise God.  She also had a question for us…and gave some great answers.

“This shows us that we are required to always do good as Christians. As we are doing that then we are doing the work of God of which we are called to do. How do we do good works which praise the Lord?

  • Speech
  • Character
  • Attitude
  • Personality
  • Spiritual life
  • Giving”

And Ahmee shared a great life example in How Will They Know based on her daily interaction with children at her pre-school job….

“When a child learns to walk, they walk! What is the purpose of being able to walk if you are not going to walk? Many of our kiddos learn to walk…and then you can’t stop them! Sometimes, you wish they would just crawl. (Although, some of them can crawl as fast as a person can run!) The point is why be given something and then not use it?
The same applies for our relationship with the Lord. When we come to know Him, we are changed, and people see this. Don’t try to hide it…you will be different! People notice you are different! LET THEM SEE! Why? Because that difference—that light—that change is what is going to make them ask the question…’why?’ And then, your actions have already set the foundation for the words that are about to come out of your mouth.”

Being The Light

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In the same way, let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

My kids love to play with flashlights—mainly my son.  He and his sister can come up with some of the most vivid imaginative uses for the flashlights.  Flashlights have become an every year stocking stuffer either at our house, my parents’ house, or my in-laws’ house.  They have gone looking for monsters, camping, and acting like the lights are out just to be able to play with a flashlight.  When they shine the light into your eyes, it is blinding.  Thankfully, I am usually in the living room when they do this to me.

Here is the point: think about how bright the light projected by a flashlight can be….  It can be so bright it can blind someone for a moment.  However, if it is dim (because the batteries are getting weak) then it is easier to look into.  Now think about yourself and your walk with Jesus.  Our daily lives should be shining examples of Christ’s love for us.  Like a flashlight, we should shine bright with Jesus’s love.

Our world is growing darker and diving deeper into chaos every day.  We need to be a flashlight now more than ever.  We can’t count on other people to be the ultimate flashlight.  Yes, people can be a flashlight.  They can shine bright for the people in this world, especially if they have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  By accepting Christ, we can bring light to an ever-darkening world.

There are many ways that we can bring light to the world.  We can serve in local and foreign ministries.  We can serve our church by volunteering our time. We can help our neighbors when they need it.  We can watch out for one another.  By being a light for God, we can show others that God loves them too.  By shining our light, we can show others that Jesus loves them, too, and help lead them to God.

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Dear Heavenly Father:  Thank You for being our flashlight.  Your light brings hope to a world that is darkening.  Be with those that serve You and bless those who are in a relationship with You already.  Give them the strength to carry on Your work.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Let Your Light Shine

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In the same way, let your light shine before men,
so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 HCSB

Sounds so easy, doesn’t it?  ‘Let your light shine….’  Letting our light shine is complex but can become easier if we consider two simple points regarding light:

1) What is the source?   2) What does it do?

Jesus told us He is the source of our light:

Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world.
Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12(HCSB)

While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.
John 9:5 (NASB)

Jesus is the only Source of our light.  Ephesians 5:8 (NLT) states “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!”  His Light shines through us.

So what does light do?  It expels the darkness.  It illuminates…and that’s what we are called to do.  Others must see the Light of Christ in us before we can share His Light with them.

Philippians 2:15b (NASB) says we are to be “…children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world…”.

Charles Spurgeon put it this way:

“Poor world, poor world, it is dark and gropes in midnight
and it cannot get light except it receives it through us.”

We must not hide His Light.  If we do, it is of no benefit to anyone but ourselves.  Jesus intended His Light to shine in us to dispel the darkness of those around us and to illuminate His great love for them.  We are to be intentional in letting this Light of love shine.  Otherwise,

“Hear this, ye humble men and women, ye who have made no figure in society,
ye are the light of the world. If ye burn dimly,
dim is the world’s light, and dense its darkness.”
– Charles Spurgeon

Does the Light of Jesus shine through you or has it been dimmed?

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Father, thank You for the light of Jesus shining in me. Do not let it be dimmed. Remind me to share Your light and Your love with those around me. In Your precious name, Amen – So be it!

Good Works

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In the same way, let your light shine before men,
that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

This portion of Scripture has also reminded me of Colossians 1:10 “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work growing in the knowledge of God” and also 1 Timothy 6:18 “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous and willing to share.”

This shows us that we are required to always do good as Christians.  As we are doing that then we are doing the work of God of which we are called to do.

How do we do good works which praise the Lord?

  • Speech
  • Character
  • Attitude
  • Personality
  • Spiritual life
  • Giving

Everything we do should be pleasing unto God.  And therefore I request each one of us to search ourselves whether we have lived a life that is pleasing unto God in the previous year or not.  If not, it is not too late to come back to God and confess our sins.  (I am calling it sin since the Bible tells us, “To him therefore who knows how to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin” James 4:17).

God is faithful and just to forgive us and give us a fresh start. Let the year 2015 be a testimony year to others because of us.

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Dear heavenly Father, I thank You for who You are—You are a great God, awesome is Your Name—marvelous, immortal, invisible, omnipresent God.  We honor You for Your good deeds and we pray, Father, that as Your children created in Your own image and likeness, that we will live a life that is pleasing unto You.  Let people give You glory and honor because of us.  Whatever we do, Lord, let it be pleasing unto You. We need Your grace, Lord!  On our own we can’t make it.  Guide us, dear Lord, always. May Your spirit that dwells in us be awakened by our spiritual life and help us to do good.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen!

Start A Fire

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

This world can be cold and bitter
Feels like we’re in the dead of winter
Waiting on something better
But am I really gonna hide forever
Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
Let Your light shine, let Your light shine for all to see

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there’s no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it’s You, that it’s You that we need
Start a fire in me

You only need a spark to start a whole blaze
It only takes a little faith
Let it start right here in this city
So these old walls will never be the same
Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
They need to know
I need to go
Spirit, won’t You fall on my heart now

You are the fire, You are the flame
You are the light on the darkest day
We have the hope we bear Your name
We carry the news that You have come to save
Only You can save

Writer(s): Jon Lowry / Chad Mattson / Seth Mosley

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“Start a Fire” … is an exciting heart cry to live out Matthew 5:16 as the band sings, “Over and over again, I hear Your voice in my head, let Your light shine, let Your light shine for all to see.” “ – Kevin Davis (read more here).

In the same way, let your light shine before men,
so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 HCSB

This song speaks to me about being passionate… about being bold.  When we are passionate about something it shows.  Our very demeanor exudes it.  Our inner fire burns bright.  We want to share our passion with everyone, especially those around us.  We should be passionate about our relationship with Christ, and be eager to share His love with others.  But sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes, it’s a struggle isn’t it?

Life is hard.  Trials and troubles often abound.  How do we let our light shine when we feel cold and bitter, like we are stuck in the dead of winter?  We go to the Source.

Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world.
Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12 HCSB

While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.
John 9:5 NASB

Jesus is the Source of our light.  He is the Light of Life within us.  In 2 Timothy 1:6a (AMP) Paul encourages us to “stir up, rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning the gracious gift of God, the inner fire that is in you.”

The gracious gift of God is His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit living within us.  He can start a fire in the wet wood of our heart.  He fans the flames of our passion.  As the bridge of this song says Jesus is the Fire.  He is our Flame. He is the Light on the darkest day.  We have hope because we bear HIS Name.  Our job, our responsibility is to burn so brightly for Him there is no doubt that there is no denying it is Him shining through us, burning in us.  All we need to do is ask Him to

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there’s no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it’s You, that it’s You that we need
Start a fire in me.

It only takes a little faith.

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Father God, we are truly blessed by Your gracious gifts.  Use them to fan the flames of our faith so we may shine brightly for You.  In Christ’s Name, I ask, Amen – It is so!

How Will They Know?

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In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see,
so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Matthew 5:16

We’ve all heard it said that actions speak louder than words.  Even children can come to understand this concept.  Un-kept promises speak volumes more than repeated promises to keep promises.  We learn to trust based on what a person does...not on what they say.  Empty words aren’t believable.  So, it’s only fitting that God would know that if we live the way He says others will notice.

Word of mouth is awesome, but I think part of the reason people were able to believe Jesus is because they could see He was genuine.  Jesus truly cared for the people.  He wasn’t out to point fingers and make them feel horrible; He was relatable—even though, He was perfect.  In John 12:47 He says, “… for I have come to save the world and not to judge it.”

…Some people have faith; others have good deeds.
But I say, How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds?
I will show you my faith by my good deeds…
Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless…
You see, his faith and his actions worked together.
His actions made his faith complete…
So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
James 2:18-24 NLT (excerpts)

Jesus is our Savior.  Because of Him we are made right with God.  However, to be made right with God and to simply go back to living the way we were—unchanged—that’s ludicrous!  It’s the same as some of the children at the preschool where I work.  When a child learns to walk, they walk!  What is the purpose of being able to walk if you are not going to walk?  Many of our kiddos learn to walk…and then you can’t stop them! Sometimes, you wish they would just crawl. (Although, some of them can crawl as fast as a person can run!)  The point is why be given something and then not use it?

The same applies for our relationship with the Lord.  When we come to know Him, we are changed, and people see this.  Don’t try to hide it…you will be different!  People notice you are different!  LET THEM SEE!  Why?  Because that difference—that light—that change is what is going to make them ask the question…’why?’ And then, your actions have already set the foundation for the words that are about to come out of your mouth.  How can they deny your words, when they have seen with their own eyes the fruit of what you are telling them?

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Lord, let us forever shine as a light for You. Help us to remember that we are always being watched…and that our actions and the words we speak need to reflect You. Amen.

Start A Fire

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

This world can be cold and bitter
Feels like we’re in the dead of winter
Waiting on something better
But am I really gonna hide forever

Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
Let Your light shine, let Your light shine for all to see

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there’s no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it’s You, that it’s You that we need
Start a fire in me

You only need a spark to start a whole blaze
It only takes a little faith
Let it start right here in this city
So these old walls will never be the same

Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
They need to know
I need to go
Spirit won’t You fall on my heart now

You are the Light on the darkest day
We have the hope, we bear Your name
We carry the news that You have come to save
Only You can save

Writer(s): Jon Lowry / Chad Mattson / Seth Mosley

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I’m not a New Year’s resolution-type of person, due to the fact that I forget the next day.  So instead, I make lists of how good my God is and all that He has done for me. And in return, I want to tell all the world of His goodness and mercy and grace.  I want to be the light that shines for Him, so that when people see me, they see all that God has redeemed and restored.  Oh, I’m not perfect nor am I always the Jesus-follower I should be, but I keep following.

In the same way, let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in Heaven.
Matthew 5:16

I don’t think it means that we are to do all this good all for the world to see—just to shine the light on ourselves.  It means that all we do and say should reflect the One Who created us and glorify Him—Jesus!!!—so that all will want what we have.  And what a perfect time to ask for a fresh start…a rekindled fire…so that there is no doubt that it is God that we need.

As the song says, He is the Light on the darkest day and we cannot keep this hope to ourselves!  It’s just too good to keep in.  We live in such a dark, hurting world that is full of so much pain.  There are so many sad people that truly need a Savior and we need to share what we have with all the world!  Love, love His people by reaching out to them.  Not just people you don’t know but also those you work with, go to church with, live with…shine no matter where you are.

The place that seems to be the hardest is home, anyone agree?  We tend to let our light fizzle a bit here.  We think, “they know us, they know we love Jesus,” so we lose patience with the ones closest to us and we forget that they, too, need to see the light of Jesus in us.  And moms…our children will imitate us and talk like us to each other.  I know that is something to really think about and pray about.  So before your feet hit the floor, ask Jesus to fill you up  each day so that His light spills over to those you come in contact with!  Let’s pray for each other, shall we?  And look up those verses in His Word today that give hope and write them on cards and put them to memory.  Teach them to your children and watch your world get a little brighter…and carry that light with you wherever you go.

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Matthew 5:14

And the light shines in darkness, and the darkness cannot comprehend it.
John 1:5

But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:7

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Let us pray: Dear God, thank You for walking with us into this new year of 2015.  You are our light in this dark world, our hope that we hold onto when all is falling apart, and our song that we sing when the world is so loud.  Thank You for Your grace and mercy and love.  I pray that we can be that light to all Your children, ones that are walking in darkness and need You so much.  Nothing is wasted, Lord; You make good out of everything. and the way we handle the hard will glorify You if we keep You at the center.  Help us to keep shining for You and to not keep this awesome joy and this peace (that only You can give) to ourselves.  Start a fire in us and keep it burning until You come again.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

We Are

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Every secret, every shame
Every fear, every pain
Live inside the dark
But that’s not who we are
We are children of the day

So wake up sleeper, lift your head
We were meant for more than this
Fight the shadows, conquer death
Make the most of the time we have left

We are the light of the world
We are the city on a hill
We are the light of the world
And we gotta, we gotta, we gotta
Let the light shine

We are called to spread the news
To tell the world the simple truth
Jesus came to save
There’s freedom in His name
So let His love break through

So let your light shine brighter
We are the light 
Jesus
You are the light
We will lift You high
And shine, shine, shine 

Performed by Kari Jobe
Songwriters: James Tealy, Chuck Butler, Hilary McBride, Ed Cash

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God calls us to let our little lights shine wherever we go, and proclaim the Good News and the glorious things He has done in our lives (and continues to do….)

In the same way, let your light shine before others,
so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 ESV

What does it mean to “…let your light shine…”? I love this explanation from In The Workplace.com

“In the Bible, light is used to represent God or God’s truth. It is contrasted to darkness, which represents the evil in the world or the false system of Satan. Our “light” in this sense is our “good works.”
They are to shine in the world in such a way that others will see them and give credit or glory to God. This is to be true in all areas of our lives.
The truth is that we let our light shine the brightest when the contrast is the greatest. In order for light to be noticed, it must shine in darkness. When you turn on a powerful flashlight on a sunny day, it can hardly be seen, but in the dark of the night, it is a bright beacon. So it is with us. When we do the works of righteousness in church, they are good but they don’t stand out as the same acts would outside the church. Remember we said that the scripture doesn’t apply only to the marketplace, but that it does include it.
Our light shines when we act or react to life in ways that contrast to the ways of the world. Jesus said that He is “the Light of the world” (John 8:12). His life contrasted sharply with the lives of the Pharisees and the other religious leaders. The things He said and the things He did were in stark contrast to the acts of the others. His “Light” shone brightly. The people could easily see a difference between Him and the others. They could see it in His acts and they could hear it in His words.”

go here for the entire article.

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the Light of the world:
he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
John 8:12 KJV

Our lives should shine with the light of Christ.

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Heavenly Father, thank You for this Word today.  Help us by Your strength to be the people whose lives shine the light of You into the darkness in the lives of those around us.  In Jesus’ name, AMEN!!!